Florentino Perez’s long dream of starting a new competition consisting only of the European elites is finally coming to life in the form of the European Super League.
The concept of such a breakaway league has been in the pipelines for more than a decade and back in 2016, Football Leaks had revealed that the European Super League could see the light of the day in 2021.
And true to those reveals, the ESL has gotten its initial shape with as many as 12 European heavyweights coming onboard to become the founding members of the new-look tournament.
Rumours were ripe that the announcement could be made on Sunday and just before midnight the bombshell was dropped with an official statement which read:
“Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.
“Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.
“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid. In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.
“The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”
Due to the pandemic, these big European clubs have suffered losses worth billions of pounds so maybe this was the ideal time to fast track this decision and set the ball rolling.
The European Super League is sure to boost the finances of all the participating clubs and at the same time, it also promises top-level football all throughout the year.
But this decision has clearly not gone down too well with some of the ex-footballers.
Gary Neville has been the most vocal of the lot saying: “It’s an absolute scandal. Any clubs that have agreed to it should be ashamed of themselves.
“European Super League? Are Arsenal in that? They’ve just drawn with Fulham! Man United are drawing with Burnley! I cannot concentrate on the game. To sign up to the Super League during a season is a joke, they should deduct points off all six of them.”
Former Manchester City man Micah Richards also bashed this new rebel competition, as quoted by MEN: “The Premier League has been run amazingly, we all know clubs are an investment, it’s a business at the end of the day, but what happens to the fans?
“What happens to the memories of what the fans have had over the years? They’re just forgotten about for the sake of money, and that’s the way football has become now. I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”
The fact that clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal have already made official announcements means they are not likely to backtrack on this decision anytime soon. So either the 12 clubs are never going to play in another tournament or UEFA tournaments such as the Champions League or the Europa League will lose all prominence.